Coventry City striker Gary McSheffrey has spoken about the criticism he and his team mates have been getting at The Ricoh Arena but he claims the abuse is “water off a duck’s back”.
The Coventry born player, who started his professional career at the club before being sold to Birmingham to help balance the books in 2006, admits the criticism is understandable but it does sting him.
McSheffrey made his debut for the Sky Blues aged just 16 in 1999 and returned to the club in 2010 after four years at Birmingham.
He explained, “I know the fans are pretty ruthless at the minute and I understand that because the club is the lowest it has been in over 50 years and that’s not good enough. I’ve been in situations before when I have had a bit of stick off the crowd and that’s justified because if you’ve set standards in the past then people expect that from you.
“I think sometimes they expect more from me because I’ve come up through the system but with that comes pressure because it’s not easy playing for your home town club when you’ve been relegated.
“I think I’m a bit different to other players in the squad – no matter where I’m playing I know I am judged on goals because I have scored for the club on a regular basis before and scored at a higher level. It does get frustrating because some players score three goals in a season and people say they’ve done well but if I don’t get double figures it’s ‘bloody hell, McSheffrey’s having a bad season!’
“I’ve learned to live with that. The fans might say things but you have got to be mentally strong and rise above it. I just know that if I am fit and contributing to the team then I’m happy and I can build from that, and once one or two goals go in I know it will be fine.”